�Won’t let you in when you turn your signal on to merge into a lane?
�Begins to move over into your lane without any warning?
�Weaves in and out of traffic to gain a few car lengths?
�Drives in the HOV lane during rush hour and they don’t have any passengers in their car?
�Cuts you off?
�Takes a parking spot when you have been patiently waiting for someone to pull out?
�Honks their horn at you because you’re not “moving fast enough”?
If you’re a driver, you’ve probably had many, if not all, of these situations happen to you. Or you may actually be doing these things while you’re driving.The purpose of this article isn’t to rant about the “crazy”drivers out there, but to help parents think about the message they’re sending to their children. Parents need to pay attention to their own driving behavior, as well as their response to the behavior of other drivers. As a parent, you’re setting the tone and creating “a model”of behavior for your children. They learn from you at a very early age, and formulate in their mind what is“acceptable behavior” when driving. Whether they’re two or a teenager preparing to drive, be cognizant of what you’re doing, because they are watching you! What do you do in response to situations on the road?
�Yell and scream profanities?
�Get next to them and try to show them your displeasure?
�Try to “teach them a lesson” by slowing down, hitting your brakes, cutting in front of or tailgating them?While these behaviors may make you feel better, the fact is, they are all inappropriate. The appropriate response, particularly when you have children of any age in your vehicle, is to let it go. If your child is old enough, discuss what just happened and why it’s so important to pay attention while driving. All any of us have control over is the way we drive, not what others do. Defensive driving means protecting yourself from the mistakes and, quite frankly, the stupidity, of others.